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tv   BBC World News  BBC America  December 26, 2014 9:30am-10:01am EST

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our top stories, memorials take place to mark the tenth anniversary of the indian ocean tsunami that killed thousands of people. >> translator: i thought there was nothing left. no one had survived. only me. i walked through the bodies and found my brother. >> these are live pictures from where a memorial service is being held. we'll have the latest from our
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correspondent who is there. in other news, xbox and playstation online services suffered technical issues amid claims a hacking group disabled them and two men go on trial in thailand charged with the murder of two british tourists earlier this year. hello. a very warm welcome. special prayer services and memorials have been taking place across southeast asia to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the indian ocean tsunami. in japan, people held traditional ceremonies to remember those they lost. in thailand, people placed flowers at a victims' remembrance wall. many on holiday also lost their lives. their family and friends placed wreaths from the sand and threw
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flowers in the water. memorials were held in india and indonesia. for many survivors, the memory of that day a decade ago, is raw with hundreds of unidentified bodies laying in unmarked graves. our correspondent is in the tie resort of khao lak. >> reporter: this is one of the areas worst hit by that wall of water some ten meters high, 30 feet from the ground, that slammed into this region ten years ago. some 8,000 people died in all and the vast majority -- most of the westerners that perished were from sweden. 500 people perished from here. the prime minister is here. we're hearing an opening address from the deputy prime minister and wreaths have have already been laid on that giant police boat behind me. it weighs several tons.
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it was picked up and tossed like a toy a mile inland when that tsunami wave hit and there are flowers all around this representing those people who died. as i say, this is the official ceremony marking what happened a decade ago. there have been smaller ceremonies taking place throughout the day. the first began at 10:19 this morning. that's the exact time when that tsunami hit ten years. this is a day of mourning and prayer. here in thailand, tribute is paid to thousands that died exactly ten years ago. victims of one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. it happened on a clear day just like this. those in its path had no chance. the wall of water that hit the shore here was 30 feet high.
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of the 8,000 or so people who died here in thailand, around 5,000 were tourists. >> we were still asleep when the first wave came in. >> reporter: this man was in a beach chalet with his girlfriend, nova, when the wave hit. >> i woke up to the room shaking. it was getting more and more violent and then the wave just slammed into the bungalow and just took them down with those inside it. that was the last time i saw nova. >> reporter: the whole area that was washed away as now been rebuilt. in the event of a similar tragedy, there's confidence a better early water system for tsunamis would save lives and greater public awareness of the destructive power of the sea. >> even recently, for example at the beach here, they have sirens and they have a very close link with the authorities so everyone is now working together in a way they didn't do before to make
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sure that the warnings reach the end of the chain and secondly, the fear factor is there. everyone knows tsunami. >> reporter: the mental scars will take much longer to heal than repairing the physical damage caused by the tsunami. several nations reflect on their loss and the hope is a decade on lessons have been learned. southeast of here lies the nation of indonesia and that's the land that's suffered the most as a result of that tsunami ten years ago. 160,000 people died when the tsunami wave slammed into the region of aceh which was the worst affected. our reporter has traveled to that area to see how life has changed in the last decade. >> reporter: this was the destruction the tsunami brought. all that remained were the bodies and the mosques that were
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untouched. ten years later and this is downtown banda aceh. in place of the bodies that once lined the lanes in front of this mosque, there are families out enjoying the afternoon sun. in the aftermath of the tsunami, billions of dollars worth of aid money poured into this place. it wasn't just the infrastructure that changed here. families were torn apart and then brought together again. the tsunami ripped through this man's family home. he wasn't in aceh at the time and when he returned, he thought he had lost everything. >> translator: i thought there was nothing left. that no one had survived. only me. i walked through the bodies and then found my brother. they said all our families are gone. >> reporter: what he didn't know at the time was that his 4-year-old daughter rina was
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alive. in an emotional meeting, rina was reunited with her father by aid workers nearly one month after the tsunami struck. >> translator: i was so happy to see my dad again. i just wanted to return to him as soon as possible. i didn't want to stay there anymore. after that, i was always at my dad's side. i was so afraid to lose him again. >> reporter: there are reminders of the tsunami everywhere here. this fishing boat was swept two kilometers inland by the waves landing near a house where 57 people were convinced they were going to drown. they were saved by climbing onboard the boat, which is now a tourist site and to some a symbol of their god's power. >> translator: perhaps this is a reminder from allah to become better people. we should be more faithful in our prayers and look after our
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family. now that i've lost family members, i need to care more for the ones that are still alive. >> reporter: protecting those still alive is a priority here. aceh schoolchildren regularly run through earthquake drills so they know what to do if another disaster strikes. the lessons learned on that day ten years ago will live on in the next generation. >> a look at just how life has changed in the last decade for that worst affected area in indonesia banda aceh. what else has changed? certainly in terms of an early warning system preparing people for a possible tragedy on the scale of what happened a decade ago if it were to take place in the future. there's an early warning system for the indian ocean and there wasn't one back in 2004. a lot of the concentration of efforts has far as scientists were concerned was to deal with the ring of fire looking at
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potential earthquakes off the coast of japan and down the western side of south america. there's no recorded history of tsunamis in the indian ocean so therefore there was no real attempt to monitor the situation down there and that's partly why the catastrophic losses were so high back in 2004. now, australia, india and a number of other countries in the region are now monitoring the situation deep beneath the sea and the hope is that those lessons very difficult lessons have been learned and if there's another calamity, there will be time for people in communities like this to get out of the way. back to you. >> you can find out much more on the anniversary of the tsunami on our website. there you'll find the latest on the commemoration ceremonies and striking pictures of the devastation after the disaster hit and what those places look like now. that's at bbc.com/news.
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let's get other news now. a court in turkey ordered the release of a 16-year-old high school student arrested for insulting the president following an outcry over his detention. the teenager was taken into custody after he accused the president and his party of corruption during a speech. the talks between ukraine's government and pro-russian rebels have been called off. no immediate reason was given. the talks to try to end the conflict in eastern ukraine, which has left 4,700 people dead, had begun wednesday. in september, a cease-fire and framework peace deal were announced in the same city but neither have been properly observed. new zealand bar manager and his two myanmar colleagues pleaded not guilty to charges of
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insulting religion after publishing a psychedelic image of buddha wearing headphones to promote a new bar. he told the court he removed the image from the bar's facebook page and posted an apology once he realized it was being shared widely online provoking outrage. now, sony and playstation and microsoft xbox have been reporting problems connecting to the game's networks. a hackers group called lizard squad has claimed responsibility for the problems. sony issued a statement saying it was aware of the issue and was investigating it. so what is going wrong? i've been talking to a writer and broadcaster that specializes in video games and technology. >> people were getting a lot of xboxes and playstations this time of year for christmas. lots of kids unwrapping them and because consoles are dependent
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onion line services for those consoles and they're not able to download games. they're not allowed to play games they have with other people online because this hacker group, lizard squad, has brought down those services. it's important to note that it's a different set of circumstances to the sony pictures hack that we heard so much about over the last few weeks. this is what's known as a denial of service attack which just involves a lot of users hitting these services with so many requests that the servers can't cope and they just break down so that means that normal players such as myself or yourself if you get an xbox can't access the servers. the main problem is with people taking time off this time of year and wanting to play these games, they're not able to play them or download them in the first place and obviously these problems are ongoing today. >> absolutely being christmas a lot of people have received xbox for christmas. you say it's not the usual hacker groups we've been hearing about. why have these hackers done
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this? >> well, it's important to know one of the twitter users you pulled up there was saying i got a lot of sensitive data stored which is why you have your credit card details on there and playstation network famously in 2011 was brought down for a month because a hacking group called unanimous were able to steal 77 million people's personal data. this isn't happening here. your personal data has not been stolen. it's basically a hacking group for whatever malicious reason they've not said why they've done it at this point but basically the hacking groups want to bring about note rigori for themselves and lizard squad brought down a system back in august briefly and it attacked war of warcraft which is a big online gaming service. the problem is like so much technolo technology, when you logon to the latest consoles, you don't have to be online but so many service is based on being able to go online and download games
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and people would have got consoles for christmas and they would have a download code for the latest came and they need to access the network to download them so consoles are useless to them so lizard squad wants to get notoriety to say we brought down playstation and inconvenienced these people and be malicious about it. >> are companies doing enough to protect themselves against these kind of hackers? why do we keep hearing about this? >> they're not really. it's a difficult issue. denial of service attacks can happen at any service at any company and we've seen them happen before. with the playstation network and xbox live, these are services in the u.k. they have to pay 40 pounds for and in the u.s. $60 per year to access them. as a consumer you have a right to expect if you want to logon and play around christmastime they're going to work. >> stay with us on bbc world news. still to come, the year before myanmar votes in a general election, we speak to a
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mee mar. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines. memorial services are held across asia. the victims of the indian ocean tsunami on the tenth anniversary of the disaster. users of microsoft and sony game consoles report technical problems amid claims hackers disabled their online services. testimony has been postponed for seven months in the trial in thailand of two burmese records charged with murdering two british tourists. the bodies of the tourists were discovered on a beach. our southeast asia correspondent has the report. >> reporter: the start of this trial on the holiday island follows a confusing and sometimes chaotic investigation. the police and chief prosecutors
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say they have now compiled a strong case against the defendants. the bodies of hannah witheridje and david millier were discovered on a beach in september. from the start, questions were raised over the professionalism of thai investigators. the crime scene was never isolated. police officers issued a series of contradictory statements about who they were looking for. the main focus was on burmese migrant workers on the island who were swabbed for dna samples and now they charged two men with murders but they denied the charge and say they were tortured by the police into making confessions. after they were detained in october, they were made to reenact the crime at the scene, a common practice in thailand. the police say they'll rely on dna evidence taken from the victims to make their case in
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court. lawyers for the defense have complained the case has been rushed and they see no details of the evidence against their clients nor had time to prepare their defense. the great deal hangs on the outcome of this trial. not just credibility of thai justice and closure for the families but whether the safety of the millions of visitors to thailand's beaches can be assured. security officials in pakistan say american drone strikes have killed at least seven suspected militants. the first of the strikes was on the border with afghanistan. the official said it fired at a compound of the taliban in north waziristan killing four and another strike killed three people in khyber. a suspected planner of this month's school massacre was killed there in a gun battle.
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those strikes on the afghan border come as the u.s. is preparing to pull the vast majority of its combat troops out of afghanistan by the end of next week. after a peak of 140,000 troops in 2010, the u.s. and nato plan to leave 13,500 behind for training and battlefield support. in a christmas day speech to troops at hawaii's marine corps base, president obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat by paying tribute to the u.s. military. >> we've been in continuous war now for over 13 years now. next week we'll be ending our combat mission in afghanistan. [ applause ] because of the extraordinary service of the men and women in american armed forces, afghanistan has a chance to
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rebuild its own country. we're safer. it won't be a source of terrorist attacks again. and we still have some very difficult missions around the world including in iraq. we still have folks in afghanistan helping afghan security forces. we have people who are helping deal with ebola in west africa. obviously we've got folks stationed all around the world. the world is better. it's safer. it's more peaceful. it's more prosperous. and our homeland is protected because of you. >> president barack obama speaking in hawaii. it's now less than a year before myanmar votes in a general election. for the first time in 25 years, democracy campaigner, former political prisoner and now politician, aung san suu kyi will take part.
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>> reporter: your constituency, 2 1/2 years ago you were elected here and shortly after the isolation from the world came to an end. now that reforms seem to have stalled, do you regret that decision to join parliament? >> no. no. because i didn't join parliament because i expected something from it. i thought it would give us an opportunity to contribute something to the development of the country and also of course if you believe in democracy, you do have to try to do your best to strengthen the legislature. >> how successful do you think that's been? it's been a struggle at times, hasn't it? >> life a struggle. it's always a struggle. i'm relatively pleased with what we were able to achieve in the legislature gi legislature. >> reporter: the constitution bars you from becoming president here. with less than a year to go
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before the general election, is the dream of becoming president over for you? >> first of all, that's not my dream. my dream is the kind of country i would like to see. not about sitting in a presidential suite or anything like that. in any case, i always say you should never say you lost a battle until you have fought it to the best of your ability. >> reporter: you're not ruling out the possibility that some sort of deal could be done. >> i don't like to think of it as a deal. i like to think is that the people's right to choose the president they want is important. this is what we're working to. it's not about my becoming president or anybody else becoming president but about the people in a position to choose whichever person they might wish to choose. it may be me or somebody else. >> reporter: you talked before about the reform process here being stalled. how do you go about persuading the burmese army to allow more
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change to take place? >> it's not just me. it's the people who have to persuade them. i think influence of the people is something you cannot ignore. people tend to think that under dictatorship the ordinary public has no power. this is true at a certain level. i think the power of the people is something you can never make away with because they're there and very much the majority. if you start some kind of reform, however limited, you give the people a chance to air their views and that's great progress. >> reporter: are you still hopeful that talks between senior political leaders here might deliver constitutional change? >> i always said i don't believe in hope. i only believe in work. you try to achieve what you think should try to achieve through hard work. and i think i would have to
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divide up your question to two parts because you were saying did i hope? no, i don't hope. i work for it. do i hope that talks between senior leaders would result in some sort of resolution, yes, i do believe that, if we really manage to get to the point of what we need for negotiations i'm sure there would be a lot of progress. i have no doubt about that whatsoever. >> reporter: do you think the president here is sincere about those talks? >> at the moment the president has not shown enthusiasm for the kind of negotiations that they want. but that doesn't mean it's the end of the story. he's not the only one who can decide whether or not we go for negotiations. in the end, it's the people who will decide. >> with the end of the year just days away. it's out with the old and in with the new in japan as the nation bids farewell to the year of the horse and welcomes the
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sheep. a ceremony has taken place to mark the occasion and they used a pony to symbolize the year of the horse. you can see there. and a sheep for the new year and one of the organizers even wore a horse head hat which could now be considered so last year. stay with us here. that can help your company grow steadily and quickly. great job. (mandarin) ♪ cut it out. >>see you tomorrow. ♪
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our top stories, memorials take place to mark the tenth anniversary of the indian ocean tsunami which killed almost a quarter of a million people. we hear from those who lived through it. >> translator: i thought there was nothing left. that no one had survived. only me. i walked through the bodies and then found my brother. >> i'm live in southern thailand where the official commemorative service for the victims of the tsunami are now drawing to a close. a court orders the

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